Is this why Patrick Dempsey’s character left ‘Grey’s Anatomy’?
A new unauthorized book on the inside scoop of Grey’s Anatomy is set to release this month, and in it are tons of juicy details on the cast’s ups & downs. Specifically, in How to Save a Life: The Inside Story of Grey’s Anatomy, author Lynette Rice reveals the reasoning for beloved McDreamy’s shocking exit.
The Hollywood Reporter has released an excerpt from the upcoming book that unveils the truth behind Patrick Dempsey leaving in season 11. With numerous interviews from co-stars and executive producers, the book tells all about the alleged “HR issues” that led to character Derek Shepherd’s death.
Possible “HR issues” and disputes within the cast
Rice wrote in her unveiled chapter about the truth behind Dempsey slowly becoming absent in the show prior to leaving. She revealed, “behind the scenes, there was talk of Dempsey’s diva-like fits and tension between him and Pompeo. To help manage the explosive situation, executive producer James D. Parriott was brought back in to serve as a veritable Dempsey whisperer.”
Rice then included an excerpt of her interview with James D. Parriott who explained, “There were HR issues. It wasn’t sexual in any way. He sort of was terrorizing the set. Some cast members had all sorts of PTSD with him. He had this hold on the set where he knew he could stop production and scare people.”
Parriott continued, “The network and studio came down and we had sessions with them. I think he was just done with the show. He didn’t like the inconvenience of coming in every day and working. He and Shonda were at each other’s throats.”
Yet, an unnamed veteran crew member shared that although Dempsey wasn’t innocent, he was definitely treated unfairly. The anonymous insider disclosed, “Poor Patrick. I’m not defending his schtick. I like him, but he was the Lone Ranger. All of these actresses were getting all this power. All the rogue actresses would go running to Shonda and say, ‘Hey, Patrick’s doing this. Patrick’s late for work. He’s a nightmare.’”
They added, “He was just shut out in the cold. His behavior wasn’t the greatest, but he had nowhere to go. He was so miserable. He had no one to talk to. When Sandra left, I remember him telling me, ‘I should’ve left then, but I stayed on because they showed me all this money. They just were dumping money on me.’”
Patrick Dempsey on leaving his longtime character
As for someone who had worked on a series for nearly a decade, Dempsey clearly felt sentimental leaving the character who sculpted his career. Yet, he does admit that staying with Grey’s Anatomy for over ten years had a lot to do with the hefty paychecks.
Dempsey shared with Rice, “It [was] hard to say no to that kind of money. How do you say no to that? It’s remarkable to be a working actor, and then on top of that to be on a show that’s visible. . . and play a character who is beloved around the world. . . It [was] a lot to process, and not wanting to let that go, because you never know whether you will work again. . .”
Director Rob Hardy detailed how emotional Dempsey was bidding farewell to his character. He stated, “[Patrick] had a lot of emotions during the whole shoot, which evolved. I think when we first started, he was very calm and cool … the same Patrick that I remembered when I worked on the show a year or so before.”
He continued, “With each passing day, he was a lot more emotional. A lot more was on his mind, and that would show itself in different ways. The finality of the episode and for his character was setting in. You’ve become a global icon on this show and then in five, four, three, two, a day. . . it’s over.”
Although, why kill off Dr. Shepherd, a character who won over millions of hearts? Wouldn’t a divorce storyline suffice? Writer Stacy McKee reveals how anything other than death would be out of character for Derek Shepherd.
McKee revealed, “I don’t think there was any way to exit him without him dying. He and Meredith were such an incredibly bonded couple at that point. It would be completely out of character if he left his kids. There was no exit that would honor that character other than if he were to die.”
Do you agree with Patrick Dempsey’s exit from Grey’s Anatomy? What Grey’s Anatomy character do you want to return? Let us know in the comments below!